What’s the latest team news, is Sergio Reguilon fit?
He is not available. He hasn’t had a training session with us. He is not available. I honestly don’t know, there are only two weeks before the end of the season, whether it is possible for him to come back.
Any other injuries?
No other injuries.
What an achievement would it be for Son Heung-min to win the Golden Boot?
For sure I knew him in the past but now to see him during the training session you can understand the quality of the player. For sure he is a player that wants to improve himself. This is the main reason you are seeing him in this peak of form. He is working very hard, I see him every day with the will and the right desire to improve himself and work for the team. He is scoring a lot but at the same time during the game he helps the team a lot without the ball. For me when this happens I am very happy because I understand I have a player that thinks not only for himself but thinks for the team before himself.
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How do you beat Liverpool?
We are trying to have a good idea. I hope not the same idea as Liverpool. We know that in this moment it is very difficult to play against Liverpool because they are in really good form and I watched the game against Villarreal and it was incredible the composure and calm, they faced a difficult situation. After the first half they were 2-0 down and the atmosphere was very difficult for Liverpool. I saw great composure and calm from them, now they know they are strong, they are one of the best teams in the world with Manchester City, they are very good. At the same time it will be a good game for us.
We prepared the game very well and I think we need to be very good without the ball to be good defensively, but if we want to win we have to be very good with the ball. I said this to my players, we need to play a good game and be brave when we have the ball, don’t be scared for all the pressure and to find the solution. We have improved a lot. We can go there to play and try to get three points. We are in this race for a place in the Champions League and for this reason we need to get points in every game. Every game is a big chance for us to improve the table. In this game we have to try and beat Liverpool.
Do your players lift themselves in games against the very best or is it about preferring to play teams that attack?
When you play against these important teams, it’s important there is the great desire, no? For everybody to find a way to stop this top team. For this reason, against Manchester City it happened twice and we drew with Liverpool at home.
For sure, when you play with a team that likes to play face to face, for the characteristic of my players, my team, maybe it’s better than when we find a team very, very deep with not so much space to exploit. I find this. Also in the game against Leicester we found a team face to face – you attack, we attack, you attack, we attack. It’s better then when we find a team who defends very deep and doesn’t [allow us to] find space.
Will the pressure of being in so many competitions weigh on Liverpool?
No. Honestly, I think that when you arrive at this point of the season and you are in the race for every target it gives you a big, big push to try to do something incredible. I think Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp is doing a fantastic job with this team and it’s not easy, especially for an English team to arrive at the end of the season with the possibility to stay in the race for all the competition in which you compete in.
I think it’s incredible because you can see Liverpool’s players run a lot. The fact that they have not many injuries and they’re doing a fantastic job. Their enthusiasm is not 100%, it’s 200%. You don’t feel fatigue when you arrive at this point. For this reason we have to go there, play our game and I repeat we want to go there to play our game. We are in the race for a Champions League place and we have to try to find a way to get points in every game. Also in this game we have to play against one of the best teams in the world away but we are preparing very well for this game like usual and we’ll see what happens.
Does Jurgen Klopp have any weaknesses as a manager?
I think I can speak about the weaknesses of the team, not the manager because it’s very difficult to speak about the person. Jurgen Klopp is doing a fantastic job for Liverpool. He needed a bit of time to create this amazing team and now it’s very difficult to find a problem in this team, a weak point, it’s very difficult.
Where would you rank this Liverpool team in the great teams you’ve come up against or played in?
In my career in football I was lucky because I have seen many amazing teams. When I was a player, also I think the Italian league was the best in the world. For this reasons I have seen in Italy the best teams I can compare with Liverpool.
At the time the best players were in Italy. Now you can see this situation in England! But it’s very difficult to make comparisons with the past. I think every single team has good situations in a positive way, a bit of a weakness. Only a few though but when you arrive at the end of the season in the race for every target, it means that you’re really, really strong.
Is it strange that you could win at Liverpool and you’ve beaten Manchester City at the Etihad, but you could still finish fifth?
I think it’s important to go step by step. In the past, it happened that we beat City. Now we have this important challenge for us, because we’re in the race for a place in the Champions League, and for us, as Liverpool, to get points is very important. They’re fighting for the league, we’re fighting for a place in the Champions League.
We have to go step by step, we have to try first of all to get points on Saturday and then we’ll see what happens. To get points it won’t be easy for us but for sure the game won’t be easy for them, also.
Have you given Fabio Paratici and Daniel Levy your shopping list of the players you want for the summer?
[Laughs] No, no, no. We’re totally focused on this season. Also, because I repeat, we’re finishing this season with only 15 players and at the moment it’s not convenient to give them a list, because the list it would be very, very, very big! You understand? It’s not a good moment to give them the list.
You mentioned about Son being a team player – he’s so humble and doesn’t care about individual targets, do you think that stops him being recognised by some outside Tottenham as one of the world’s best players?
I think that in this team, for sure, Sonny we’re talking about one of the best players in this team. To score goals and to have a good performance, you need also the team. Not only one player can change the life of the team. I think for this reason Sonny is giving a lot for the team, and they’re also giving a lot to him, to support him, to scoring goals.
We’re talking about a really good guy, I see him every day. He’s a humble guy. He’s always with a smile on his face. To be his coach for me is a great pleasure, is a great honour and as you know with personal targets it’s most important to match personal targets with great achievements for the team. In this way, your personal target becomes more important.
Will you be advising the club to make Dejan Kulusevski’s loan move a permanent one this summer?
Yeah, but I think he’s on loan but it’s like a deal ended. He’s a Tottenham player 100% in every aspect. Not officially, but he’s 100% a Tottenham player.
Will you look to beat the Liverpool press by kicking long?
Saturday you will see which is our plan. I don’t want to give advantage to a team that I think doesn’t need to have an advantage, but it’s a good question. I prefer [you] to find the answer during the game.
Will you have to try to dominate the ball?
It means when you have the ball you have to create chances to score. You know very well the intensity Liverpool have to press. You have to be ready, to be brave, to try to understand the way they’re going to press and try to overcome this.
Source by Football London